The short order cook lounged with an elbow on the counter, idly smoking a cigarette while bacon fat congealed on a half eaten plate. A lisping little red haired girl with a pretty gapped smile whose name he could never remember came up to him with her freckled hands on the edge of the counter and said, “Why do you have such a silly last name, Mister Melvin?”
Melvin blew a smoke ring and said, “That’s a long story, little lady, but just for you I’ll start right in the middle. ” He daubed the cigarette in an ashtray and put both elbows on the counter and his cheeks in his hands. He started: “Once upon a time a god ate me, lifting me from a bowl of souls with giant grubby fingers. ‘Mmm, tastes like buttercrisps,’ he said, chewing. The next morning, he found me in his toilet. Delighted, he picked me up and washed me down with ferociously cold water and said, his stinking breath washing over me once more, ‘Yum yum Melvin Buttercrisps, down you go—AGAIN!’ After a while—this has been going on for half of eternity at that point—I forgot any other old name I ever had and knew myself always as Melvin Buttercrisps.”
“Eew, yuck, Melvin! That’s a weird story.”
“You think so? Ha ha! Just wait until I tell you how I escaped the god—”
“Don’t you be filling her head with filth!” screamed the girl’s mother, momentarily tearing herself from an angry phone conversation to harshly grab the girl’s wrist. The girl waved good-bye as she was hauled out of the diner. Melvin Buttercrisps shrugged and lit another cigarette, contemplating his cold cup of coffee.
A fly had landed in it.